Monday, January 07, 2008

What Is The Point Of Consorting With The Navy....

******UPDATE***** SB is fine. I knew that from the get-go this morning, thanks for asking
.......if a girl can't a heads up on this.....

Iran boats 'threatened US ships'

Five Iranian speedboats harassed three US navy ships at the weekend, approaching them and radioing a threat to blow them up, US officials say.

The incident happened as the US vessels passed through the Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Arabian peninsula and Iran, Pentagon officials said.

US sailors came close to opening fire, unnamed officials told CNN.

The White House on Monday warned Iran against "provocative actions that could lead to a dangerous incident".

The speedboats came within about 200m of the US vessels, a Pentagon official told the French news agency AFP.

"I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes," the Iranians said in a radio transmission, according to the officials.

The Iranian craft turned away "literally at the very moment that US forces were preparing to open fire", the Associated Press reported, also citing an unnamed Pentagon official.

He said that it was "the most serious provocation of this sort" that had occurred to date.

The incident took place between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, reports said, although it was not clear exactly when.

Some officials identified the Iranian boats as belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

At the time, the US navy cruiser, destroyer and frigate were entering the Gulf on what is a major oil shipping route, AP reported.

Pentagon officials insist the US ships were in international waters.

The incident comes as US President George Bush is due to begin a tour of the Middle East on Wednesday.

Long-standing US-Iranian tensions remain over Iran's nuclear programme, although these have been somewhat reduced since a report made public in late 2007 said the US intelligence community believed Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

The incident also follows a row last March after Iranian Revolutionary Guards captured 15 British sailors and held them for nearly two weeks.

Iran says the crew had strayed into Iranian waters, a claim which Britain disputes.

The BBC's Paul Reynolds says the key question is whether this is a one-off incident or whether it heralds a more aggressive stance by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The latter policy would be unexpected given the lowering of tension over the nuclear issue, he says, but as the incident of the captured British naval personnel showed, tensions are always high.

There is no doubt that the US is ready to respond, our correspondent adds.


The Armorer refers to it in a less hysterical fashion than the Princess.


Pia said...

I just read this on op-for and came here to see if you heard. It's these kinds of reports that would turn my hair gray while Chris was deployed. Either you know that SB is safe and sound, or you are a braver woman than I (or both!).

Teresa said...

I know exactly what you mean... hysteria is called for (at least in print).